Saturday, July 28, 2012

Worth Fighting For

Handsome Man and I went to the most beautiful wedding on Saturday.  I'm looking forward to sharing some of our pictures with you later this week, but today I want to tell you about my favorite moment during the ceremony.

Paul and Bethany wrote their own vows.  They were beautiful, unique, and heartfelt.  Something that I found very striking was that they both ended their vows with the same phrase.  I wish I had it word for word (I'll ask them in two weeks when they get back from their honeymoon!), but it was something to this effect:

I promise to put God first, to love you with His love,
and I promise to fight for our marriage.

I love that.  These two aren't coming into marriage all starry-eyed expecting that it's going to be easy.  Four years in, I can tell you that it isn't.  Marriage takes work.  It takes commitment, perseverance, and more love than you could ever think it would.  The promise to fight for your marriage shows that you know that it's worth it.  This couple has many growing days ahead of them.  Days when they will be stretched, days when outside elements may leave them shaky.

But when you know that something is worth fighting for, you protect it with everything you have.

Paul and Bethany weren't expecting that their vows would be put to the test before their wedding ceremony was even over, but during the lighting of the Unity Candle, something beautiful happened that everyone in attendance will remember for years to come.

Wind was swirling around the beautiful hill above a vineyard, and the Unity Candle wouldn't stay lit.  The pastor tried over and over again to light the wicks, but as soon as he backed away for the bride and groom to do their part, the fire would extinguish.  Paul and Bethany tried to shield the candle from the wind with their hands, but it was no use.

Next, Bethany picked up the hymnal that was beside the candle and used it to protect the fire, but the wind still blew out the flame before they could do anything.

They were at a loss.  As hard as they tried to shield their wedding candle from the wind, they couldn't do it on their own.  The wind was too strong, coming from every angle, and the two newlyweds couldn't protect their precious candle by themselves.

It was getting to the point where we were starting to feel sorry for them.  Every wedding has its little quirks, the things that don't quite go as planned.  And it was looking like  the story of how their Unity Candle wouldn't light at their wedding was one that Paul and Bethany would be telling for years to come.  

Just when I started thinking that they were going to give up and continue with the wedding sans candle, the bride motioned to their wedding party, "We need to huddle!"

And with that, ten bridesmaids and ten groomsmen encircled Paul, Bethany, and their Unity Candle.  They formed a tight circle, linking arms and huddling close.  They were not about to let the wind blow their friends' candle out.

Everyone let out a chuckle when they saw Bethany's "two thumbs up!" from behind the wall of friends, but the beauty of what had just happened didn't disappear.

When the wind threatened to extinguish this bride and groom's symbol of unity, they did everything they could to protect their candle from it.  And when the two of them were not enough, twenty of their best friends stepped in to create an impenetrable barrier, protecting it for them.

Isn't that beautiful?

Too often, we try to do things by ourselves.  We're this world of lonely people floundering around thinking no one else can understand.  But when we are surrounded by loving, supportive friends, even the worst storms in life won't be able to take us down.

I'm glad that Paul and Bethany have that figured out.  With a love founded in Christ, invested in each other, and surrounded by friends, their marriage is off to a beautiful beginning.


  1. This is such a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing!

  2. How beautiful, that made me cry!

  3. Wow... definitely a tear-jerker you wrote there my dear. what a blessed way to view that challenge. God truly was present in their ceremony. :) Thanks for sharing the beauty of that experience, the pictures speak a thousand words as well. Just awesome! Thank GOD He is present in each of our marriages.


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